Etihad Airways will double its flight frequency between Manchester and Abu Dhabi from August 1, from seven to 14 flights each week.

The airline has originally planned to increase lift to 10 flights a week.

Chief executive James Hogan said: “Etihad’s Manchester service has been a key part of our network for five years and we are very excited to announce that we will soon offer 14 flights each week to Abu Dhabi.

“The frequency increase illustrates how Etihad has firmly established itself in the North West of England and that we are now the airline of choice for business and leisure travellers, whether flying to Abu Dhabi or transferring through to destinations in the east, such as Australia, Thailand and Japan.”

Manchester Airport’s managing director Andrew Harrison added: “Following the increase in flights and the opening of the premium lounge in Terminal 1 at the end of last year, Etihad has again shown their commitment to the North of England by increasing the frequency of the service.

“We know it’s something that our passengers require and the announcement demonstrates the important links we have to the Middle East and the onward connections available from Abu Dhabi.

“It also underlines the continuing strength of Manchester to the major global carriers and our network of long-haul flights.”

The airline opened first and business class lounges in Manchester in November last year.